REVIEW: “The Cloud Minders” (Star Trek: Remastered edition)

Star Trek (Remastered): “The Cloud Minders”
Remastered Episode #76 (7/12/2008)
Original Episode #74 (2/28/1969)

Though it did not quite make my must-see list of Star Trek episodes, “The Cloud Minders” is one of the gems of the third season. Unfortunately, I do not have time to fully review this episode tonight. As I used to do when Star Trek: Remastered first hit the air back in 2006, I am going to focus this short review only on the effects upgrades rather than the episode itself.

With a plot focused around a city in the clouds, “The Cloud Minders” is an episode I have looked forward to watching since the original announcement of the Remastered series. The original 1969 version of the Stratos cloud city was actually fairly effective by 1969 standards. In 2008, Stratos offers the chance for CBS Digital to showcase their fine work in a way that most other planet episodes do not.

For whatever reason, however, CBS Digital dropped the ball on this episode. Seen from a distance, as when Kirk and Spock are on the planet below, Stratos in the 2008 remastered version looks only slightly more convincing than the vintage version.

While close-up shots of the city details themselves look great, there were wasted opportunities here to really open the shots up, include some movement, and make Stratos seem like more than just a pretty matte painting. In the end, the whole affair comes off looking like another rush job.

I already found the 1969 effects satisfying, so I cannot imagine ever watching the Star Trek: Remastered version of “The Cloud Minders” again.

Dramatic Content: 7 (out of 10)
Effects Upgrades: 5